Xpat Interview: Andrew Leckonby, Active8 Budapest

  • 13 Nov 2015 11:00 AM
Xpat Interview: Andrew Leckonby, Active8 Budapest
Andrew Leckonby is Australian and has lived in Budapest since 1999. Throughout this time Andrew has worked with both children and adults in Budapest's thriving international education and sporting scenes, regularly founding or co-founding successful institutions & services along the way.

Andrew's latest endeavour is Active8 Budapest, the brand new community directory of Budapest's leading English-language active & healthy-lifestyle services.

Other programs that Andrew has been a leading Founder of include:
Bat and Ball Cricket Academy (2010-present)
Buda Juniors International Football Club (2001-present)
A-Z International Centre for Children (2002-2009)
Hungarian Cricket Association (2007-2013)
Baggy Blues International Cricket Club (2007-present)


1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
3rd October 1999. The bus from Florence for my 3 day visit. Never quite managed to leave.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I'm a white Australian, which makes me an expat even at home. In terms of living as an expat, just England, but that doesn't really count does it? So I guess 'no' is the best answer.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
Sunshine in October. Every single year!

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Ha! That was my plan too. Cancel the return ticket and stay and see everything.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Halászlé at the Halászkert in Balatonfüred, Hortobágyi Palacsinta made at home, or Paprikás Csirke anywhere at all. Oh and don't even THINK of finishing the meal with a Turo Rudi. That one blows me away every time I see someone actually enjoying it.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
The light. Everything else goes pretty quickly.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
I once heard the story of 'Cipőfűző' winning a competition for the world's most beautiful way to say 'I love you'. The fact that it actually means 'Shoelaces' didn't stop it winning the competition, and after that it was quite literally all tied up as my favourite Hungarian word forever.


8. What do you miss the most from home?
Sunshine in December. Vegemite. Live cricket matches. That was easy.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I think I'm doing it now! Building up Active8 Budapest is definitely a new challenge of a variety that was totally unexpected and totally different to anything I ever did before. Otherwise, being a hiking guide always appealed but never happened. Problem is, I'd get lost going to the interview.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Tour guide anywhere except in nature. And not just because I don't like using umbrellas or having strangers following me.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Depending on when this goes out, Cyprus or Australia.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Depending on when this goes out, Australia or Cyprus. (Cyprus is very special!)

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
1927 & Choirboys (an Aussie band, not a chorus); Crocodile Dundee, and playing cricket. 2 out of 3 parts of me grew up quite a lot since then.

14. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?

15. Red wine or white?
Yes please. Rose isn't too bad either.

16. Book or movie?
What are they? OK, book if not too heavy and has big letters. I am truly horrible to watch movies with as I keep pointing out all the things that can't be true in real life.

17. Morning person or night person?
That bright and sunny period in between. If it's raining, come back tomorrow.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Anything to do with children being cared for or being given their right to enjoy themselves.

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Videki vagyok. I live in the countryside and these days avoid the city as much as life permits. (No more Choirboys concerts to go and rock to...)

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
'Don't give up: one day, you will find your personal motto'.

  • How does this interview make you feel?